Home Secretary wrong on water cannon, says Deputy Mayor

21 July 2015

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, (MOPAC) Stephen Greenhalgh, told London Assembly Members today that to say the Wasserwerfer 9000 water cannon purchased last year are unsafe "would be to mislead" Londoners. He added that every single one of the 67 faults identified by the Scientific Advisory Committee that examined the water cannon "has been addressed". He also said he had no idea if Theresa May knew that, when she made her statement in the Commons last week.

The Assembly Police and Crime Committee questioned the Deputy Mayor about the decision and what will now happen to the equipment.

Joanne McCartney AM, Chair of the Police and Crime Committee said:

“It was surprising to hear the Deputy Mayor’s comments today and frankly if I were the Home Secretary I would be annoyed by what he said. As far as the Assembly is concerned, we stand by the findings of our report [1] to oppose the purchase and deployment of this equipment.

We believe a case did not exist for the Mayor’s decision to fund water cannon and will be interested to see what, if anything, the Deputy Mayor and MOPAC do next, if they really believe that water cannon is an essential part of the Met’s toolkit. Perhaps it’s time for the Mayor and Deputy Mayor to get over this embarrassment and move on – as it still appears to us that the purchase was a complete waste of taxpayer’s money.”

Watch the webcast.


Notes for Editors:

Read the report: Water Cannon: Why the Met’s case doesn’t wash

Joanne McCartney AM, Chair of the Police and Crime Committee is available for interview. See contact details below.

As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Mary Dolan on 020 7983 4603. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.